How to Measure

These measuring tips will guarantee your shades are a perfect fit!  

Items You'll Need:

Start From Square One: Decide Where to Mount the Shade

Before you pick up your measuring tape, decide whether you want to install your shade inside the window frame or on the outside, either on the frame or the wall. An inside mount is usually the best choice since it looks cleaner, but outside mounts are useful if there is not enough depth to mount inside the frame or you wish to block more light...or hide an unpleasant window frame.  

See the sections below for full details on each application!

Inside Mount

You're an Insider!  This means your shade will be installed on the inside of the window frame, as depicted in the image below.                                                   

             

Depth Requirements

Inside Mounts are the most common application, but they can only be done if you have enough depth from the front of the inside of the window frame to the window itself.  There can be no obstructions like crank handles, mullions, and hinges, which can disrupt the operation of the shade.

There are two different types of Inside Mounts: Shallow and Flush.  

A shallow mount means that there is enough space to mount the shade inside the frame, but the front portion of the shade will protrude past the window frame because there is not enough depth to mount it fully recessed.  If you were to run your hand along the wall or window frame, it would bump into the shade. 

A flush mount means that there is enough space to mount the shade all the way inside the frame.  The shade is either in line with the frame or even further back, so there is depth from the front of the shade to the front of the frame.  If you were to run your hand along the wall or window frame, your hand would not bump into the shade - it would glide over it!

Please refer to the chart below to learn how much depth is required for each lift option and each Inside Mount application:

Minimum Shade Mounting RequirementsStandard & Top Down Bottom Up (with strings) Smooth Cord Loop, Cordless & Motorized*
Shallow Inside Mount3/4"  1/2"
Flush Inside Mount2"2 1/4"
Shallow Inside Mount with Energy Saving Sidetracks1 1/2"1 5/8"
Minimum Flush Inside Mount with Energy Saving Sidetracks 2"2 1/4"

Measuring for an Inside Mount

  • Use a steel measuring tape
  • Be sure to clearly indicate which measurement is width and which is height.  Please mark the width first, then the height.  
  • Width - Measure the top, middle, and bottom of the inside of the frame.  Write down all three measurements and circle the narrowest width.
  • Height - Measure the left, middle, and right of in inside of the frame from the top of the inside of the frame, all the way down to the sill.  Write down each measurement.  If you are not getting sidetracks, circle the longest length.  If you are getting sidetracks, circle the shortest length.   
  • Production takes a slight deduction from the width of the fabric.  Please provide the actual window opening size when you place your order.  Our Production team will take the proper deduction to ensure the shade doesn't bang against the window frame or other shades.  
  • Measure to the nearest eighth inch.  If necessary, round down for width, round up for length if you aren't getting sidetracks, but round down if you are getting sidetracks (so the sidetracks aren't made too long!). 
  • Always double check your measurements!  You know what they say - better safe than sorry!
  • Feel free to download our measuring guide.  It's tried and true!

Outside Mount

You're someone who thinks outside the box, aren't you!  This means your shade will be installed on the wall or on the outside of the window frame, like in the image below. 

Depth Requirements

Outside mounts may not be your first choice, but they still do an extraordinary job insulating while providing a nice, finished look.  Outside mounts are commonly seen on doors, or if there just isn't enough depth to do an inside mount.  They are beneficial if you want to make a window look larger.  They also blanket out more light.

So, is there enough room around your window for an outside mount?  The chart below describes how much room you need either on the outside of the window frame or on the wall over the window to install an outside mounted shade.

Minimum Shade Mounting RequirementsStandard & Top Down Bottom Up (with strings) Smooth Cord Loop, Cordless & Motorized*
Outside Mount 3/4"7/8"

Measuring for an Outside Mount

The key thing here is to measure exactly to where you want the shade and headrail to cover.

  • Use a steel measuring tape                                             
  • Be sure to clearly indicate which measurement is width and which is height.  Please mark the width first, then the height.  
  • You may want to pencil a mark where you want the headrail to rest at the top of the frame to guide your measurements.
  • Width - Measure the top, middle, and bottom of the outside of the frame.  You may want to add a few inches the sides for maximum light coverage.  Write down all three measurements and circle the narrowest width.
  • Height - Measure the left, middle, and right of the outside of the frame from the top of the frame, all the way down to the sill.  Write down each measurement and circle the longest length.  If there is no window sill, measure at least 1 1/2" longer than the bottom of the window.
  • Production does not take deductions from outside mounted shades. 
  • Measure to the nearest eighth inch.
  • Always double check your measurements.  Production makes every shade exactly to order.
  • Feel free to download our measuring guide.  It works like a charm! 

Final Notes for all Window Shades

  • Your window shade order comes with installation instructions and all the brackets and screws required for a successful installation.  The brackets can be used for both inside and outside mounts.
  • Customers love our measuring guide.  Feel free to use it to assist you in the measuring process!  Download here: How to Measure Your Windows for Cellular Shades Guide

Measuring for Skylight Shades?

A very similar process to regular window shades, but there are a few things to look out for.  If you need help measuring for your skylight shades, click here!

Measuring for Energy Saving Sidetracks?

Sidetracks give you that extra boost of insulation, as long as they fit right!  If you're planning on ordering sidetracks with your shade, click here to learn more!